The Women's FA Cup - Final
Arsenal WomenArsenal Women1Chelsea WomenChelsea Women0
By Owen PhillipsBBC Sport at Wembley Stadium
Women's FA Cup final archive: Arsenal beat Chelsea in 2016

Danielle Carter's goal delivered a record 14th Women's FA Cup trophy for Arsenal as they dominated holders Chelsea at Wembley Stadium.

Carter, who clipped a first-minute chance onto the roof of the net, gave the Gunners a deserved early lead with a fine solo run and curled finish.

Asisat Oshoala then spurned three good chances to double Arsenal's lead.

Fran Kirby wasted Chelsea's best opening in front of a record Women's FA Cup final crowd of 32,912.

The England striker lacked direction with her first-half strike after running through, allowing goalkeeper Sari Van Veenendaal to save at the near post.

Ji So-Yun also went close after the break, shooting wide following their first corner after 70 minutes but the Gunners were excellent value for the victory.

The crowd at Wembley on Saturday beat last year's record final crowd of 30,710

Midfield mobility

Arsenal's greater mobility, movement in midfield and high-pressing was key to their fast start.

Jordan Nobbs, Fara Williams and Carter were key in denying space and stopping the supply line to Chelsea's front four.

Holding duo Katie Chapman and Drew Spence were constantly harassed and crowded out, meaning last year's Wembley matchwinner Ji was starved of possession.

Carter class

The high-tempo approach set the tone for Arsenal's impressive display and the margin of victory - against a Blues side who had won all seven of their matches so far this season - should have been greater.

Carter's sensational first-half strike was a fitting way to win an intriguing final in front of a record crowd.

Some nimble footwork saw her cut inside Hannah Blundell and send a glorious strike curling into the far post.

But the Gunners wasted numerous chances to avoid a nervy finale.

The most notable opportunities fell to the otherwise excellent Oshoala, who wasted two good chances when through on goal, and Josephine Henning, who headed wide from a corner after the interval.

Arsenal v Chelsea
Chelsea goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl denies Asisat Oshoala, who was voted BBC Women's Footballer of the Year in 2015

Experience prevails

Ultimately Carter's eye-catching goal was enough but Kelly Smith's contribution was just as vital.

The England legend's inclusion raised a few eyebrows but her composure and quality shone through.

The 37-year-old was increasingly influential, finding and creating space in the centre of the pitch and picking out willing runners time and time again.

At the other end Chelsea's key player Ji, and her fellow attackers Kirby, Karen Carney and Gemma Davison were peripheral figures.

Kirby should have scored when Chelsea had their best spell just after going behind, and Davison made several dangerous runs, but the end product was lacking and Arsenal were not to be denied.

Player reaction

Arsenal and England defender Casey Stoney: "It's probably the greatest moment in my career.

"I'm so proud of my team today, we stepped up and we won it.

"We got our tactics spot-on and we deserved to win it today."

Arsenal club captain Kelly Smith: "The team were outstanding today, from the first minute to the last minute we really turned up.

"We wanted the cup back and we're really pleased with how the performance went.

"This is the cup that we all want to be involved in and an occasion like this is an unreal experience and one I'll cherish for the rest of my life."


Arsenal Women

  • 13van Veenendaal
  • 2Scott
  • 22Henning
  • 5Stoney
  • 3Mitchell
  • 8Nobbs
  • 4WilliamsSubstituted forJanssenat 75'minutes
  • 6Losada Gomez
  • 24OshoalaBooked at 82minsSubstituted forWilliamsonat 89'minutes
  • 10SmithSubstituted forvan de Donkat 74'minutes
  • 9Carter


  • 1Byrne
  • 7Pablos Sanchon
  • 14Williamson
  • 20Janssen
  • 21van de Donk

Chelsea Women

  • 1Lindahl
  • 3Blundell
  • 4BrightSubstituted forEnglandat 78'minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 5Flaherty
  • 16Borges
  • 24SpenceSubstituted forFaheyat 45'minutes
  • 17Chapman
  • 7Davison
  • 10Ji
  • 8CarneySubstituted forAlukoat 55'minutes
  • 14Kirby


  • 6Fahey
  • 9Aluko
  • 12Spencer
  • 15England
  • 26Rafferty
Sarah Garratt

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenal WomenAway TeamChelsea Women
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal Ladies 1, Chelsea Ladies 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal Ladies 1, Chelsea Ladies 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea Ladies. Conceded by Daniëlle van de Donk.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Francesca Kirby (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gemma Davison (Chelsea Ladies) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Bethany England.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal Ladies. Leah Williamson replaces Asisat Oshoala.

  7. Booking

    Bethany England (Chelsea Ladies) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Daniëlle van de Donk (Arsenal Ladies) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Bethany England (Chelsea Ladies).

  10. Post update

    Alex Scott (Arsenal Ladies) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Bethany England (Chelsea Ladies).

  12. Booking

    Asisat Oshoala (Arsenal Ladies) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Asisat Oshoala (Arsenal Ladies).

  14. Post update

    Ana Borges (Chelsea Ladies) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Asisat Oshoala (Arsenal Ladies) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Danielle Carter (Arsenal Ladies) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Nobbs.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bethany England (Chelsea Ladies) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ji So-Yun (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea Ladies. Bethany England replaces Millie Bright.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal Ladies. Dominique Janssen replaces Fara Williams.

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